PalpMark is a liquid tissue marker in development to guide minimal invasive surgical procedures in the thoracic region.
Surgeons often rely on tactile feedback to locate the surgical target. As a rule of thumb, tumors over 10mm are identifiable using palpation whereas smaller tumors and non-solid targets, such as ground glass opacities, are not.
PalpMark can aid the surgeon to identify invisible and impalpable thoracic tumors during surgery. The marker can guide surgery by being palpable, radiopaque or allowing visual identification due to color.
In the lung indication, PalpMark is intended for application into peripheral lung tissue adjacent to the target during electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (ENB) procedures. PalpMark is a liquid prior to and during the application procedure, which enables application of large volumes through thin needles. After injection of the PalpMark liquid into soft tissue, efflux of miniscule ethanol, which is contained in the liquid, leads to a hardening of the product for the formation of a blue/violet, radiopaque and palpable marker in-vivo.
PalpMark has been successfully tested in preclinical studies. An additional pre-clinical study is planned for H1 2019 for final pre-clinical documentation of marker performance before moving into clinical development.
Early stage lung cancer
Early stage diagnosis of lung cancer has in studies demonstrated to be of paramount importance for successful treatment outcomes and improved overall patient survival. In some countries, including in the U.S., wide-ranged implementation of lung cancer screening programs in asymptomatic persons with an average or high risk for lung cancer has led to an increase in the number of early stage patients with identified small pulmonary lesions or ground glass opacities.
Minimal invasive surgery is the preferred surgical method to resect small pulmonary lesions, however, intraoperative localization of small pulmonary lesions is challenging as these are both invisible and impalpable during surgery. PalpMark has the potential to aid surgeons localize these invisible and impalpable thoracic targets.